During a recent job search, I came across a series of requirements that was required for this position. They wanted the photographer to have some experience with Capture One’s digital photo editing software. Being that I use Adobe Lightroom almost exclusively for any editing that I may do, I took it upon myself to see what Capture One was all about. After visiting the website, I decided to download the free 60 day trail and give it a shot. I found that the layout although similar to lightroom was neatly organized and moving through the modules of development was just as easy. Doing all this on a laptop was my biggest issue because of the screen size and the disadvantage that comes from doing so is just because the photo that you are editing is not as large as if it were on a large monitor where you are able to see the little changes that you would make during the editing process.During my initial exploration I found that the workflow was very similar to what I had become used to as a standard. A few of the advantages to this software was the ease of importing and categorizing your files as well as the various options you could use to export the edited files.
You had the options to export in jpeg, tiff, and jpeg for web use. Also a very nice feature and this applies to Lightroom as well was the ability to select dpi and or dimensions of your chosen export. I was pleased with the features this software had to offer, but I felt the biggest advantage to Capture One was the file handling features. It beats out lightroom in this category and with my evaluation just scratching the surface, I could see the value of this program. Although unsure at this point I am going to look into the software more extensively to see if slideshow and or book ordering is a possibility within the program. This would be a huge difference in the decision making progress as I have used both these features as a way to display work, and fulfill some customer orders.
In summary, I found several advantages when using the editing features contained with the software. I also thought that the file handling during the import and export process had it’s advantages. One of the drawbacks of this program is the cost. To purchase this software it will cost you three hundred dollars. Although priced the same as Lightroom, it will come down to a workflow and ease of use decision if you are considering either of these editing programs. Either one is a good choice and they are both far easier to use than using Photoshop. The reason I chose to use software like this for my edits is simple. Photoshop is extremely complicated and you almost need a 4 year collage degree to master it. As a working photographer I do not have the time to stop working and spend 4 years learning how to master a program so complicated. I also believe that photography is truth and with the ability to change the truth within Photoshop is a cool option, but for the most part I like to keep my photos as real as possible. This decision will come down to the type of photographer you are. If you are working professional shoots such as weddings, events or portraits, than you will want to invest in some type of advanced editing software. For general purposes programs like these are a bit of overkill and with a huge choice of basic editing programs, I would say that purchasing a program such as these is a choice that you would have to make depending on your usage.
This photo is an edit that was created using Capture One. I achieved the same results and as mentioned earlier, the biggest single advantage was the ease of exporting in certain file formats. This shot is reduced from raw file of 39 megs to a web based jpeg in which the size is just over 500kb. It displays well, and when displaying your shots, this is what you are looking for. I hope this helps if you are thinking about purchasing an editing program, and as I learn more about Capture One, I will post some updates regarding any significant advantages I find during my evaluation period.
If you use this software please share your thought and experiences. As photographers we are the best source of information for people who may be looking into software options and let’s share a little of what we know.
Thanks for the read, and always, Shoot the Light.